Welcome to the September 2018 edition of TBS SmarTalk. In this edition we explore how voice-driven technology is driving business through the latest frontier, we talk about how we teamed up with Shell UK to create a solution to digitise its existing platform inspection regime, and read the latest news on our ground breaking soil moisture testing solution.
TBS Managing Director Steve Reynolds says companies must embrace the new digital landscape…
It’s been a decade since the global recession and those that survived came out of it leaner and sharper. Yet we are again plunged into a time of uncertainty, a time where businesses are reporting a large increase in people costs.
Facility Management companies are being challenged by shorter contracts, tighter margins and an increasing cost base driven by Brexit, living wage increases, pension reform, the apprentice levy and future foreign labour restrictions.
At the same time they must improve process compliance, productivity and efficiency of the workforce, whilst reducing operational costs and providing transparency to customers who want the confidence that that services are being delivered to the highest standard; helping to differentiate on the quality of the service rather than lowest cost.
When looking at how to meet those challenges, simply changing their processes is no more effective than re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. For Carillion is was too late, but it need not be for everyone.
FM companies must though embrace technology and take advantage of the huge advances that can help them save money and improve efficiencies.
At a business I visited recently, they were still operating the same people-centred system as they were 20 years ago. With their sector in financial crisis, they are facing huge challenges, but this is where technology can be an enabler.
The Carillion collapse has served as a wake-up call to businesses which understand that simplytweaking their processes won’t work, and thatsomething more radical and innovative is needed.
‘Business as usual’ to ‘Innovation as usual’
We at TBS are constantly assessing enabling technologies, exploring the positive impact they can have on our customers, and assembling these component parts in a unique way, while focussing on the workforce needs and delivering transformational change that adds real value andcost savings to businesses; thus turning ‘business asusual’ into ‘innovation as usual’.
Welcome to the June 2018 edition of TBS SmarTalk. In This Edition:
- Facilities Management – we focus on how companies must react to Brexit and the changes that are coming to the industry
- Case study – TBS teams up with Mitie and Samsung to deliver FM solutions
- Our new 3-step Advice Line
- TBS rolls out in the Middle East
TBS are pleased to have supported industry partner Vodafone at their recent thought leadership event, Transform the Workplace. Hosted at The Brewery in London, the event brought together industry experts who examined the role technology plays in achieving workplace transformation; delivering invaluable insight into the ways businesses could harness technology within their workplace to improve efficiencies.
Steve Reynolds MD of TBS discussed how Wearables, IoT (the Internet of Things) and Voice Recognition Technology (Conversation as a Service) could be used in the workplace to:
o Increase productivity and efficiency of the workforce
o Engage and empower employees
o Generate a competitive edge
o Retain and attract new talent
o Enhance operational efficiencies.
Following on from recent research in The Stoddart Review, which highlighted the importance of the workplace on workforce productivity, it was fitting to have leading FM provider Mitie speak about their innovation journey with TBS. Providing delegates with a vision into their future workplace, Mitie explained by deploying IoT within their clients’ workplaces has automated what have been traditional people centric processes, thus introducing new ways of working and workplace transformation; ultimately improving operational efficiencies and empowering their workforce.
Keynotes were delivered by Vodafone and Samsung, with a clear message supported throughout the day that Mobile, Cloud and IoT are the keystones to a digital transformation strategy, and these will differentiate you from your competitors.
Considering the above, TBS will be hosting Innovation Workshops with businesses keen to understand and identify areas of their business that could benefit from the deployment of IoT, Wearable and Voice Recognition Technology.
If you would like to find out more information on our Innovation Workshops, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
To view TBS’s commentary on the Stoddart Review and to learn more on the role of IoT technology in the workplace, please click here, or to see TBS in action at the Transform the Workplace Event, please click here.
Gartner highlighted 2016 as a year that would deliver transformational change for the financial industry; driven by digital technologies and new business models. As an industry that have historically been reluctant to change, the idea of digital technologies may at first seem daunting. But as we edge towards the close of 2016, the opportunity technology presents for the financial industry far outweighs the threat.
TBS understand that digital business is forcing many organisations to reconsider how they source and deploy technology and were pleased to explore how revolutionary technology could be utilised by financial businesses, in a secure and cost-effective way, at the recent Financial Customer Advisory Board Event.
Hosted by Samsung at the impressive Banking Hall, London, TBS demonstrated how key technologies could be embraced by the financial industry to address prevalent industry challenges. Showcasing the latest in Wearable, Mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) technology, delegates were provided with an insight into their future workplace and how their business could thrive and survive through the deployment of technology.
With a focus on the customer outcome and the need to bring the high-street banking journey in line with the online experience, TBS demonstrated how technology could enhance efficiencies for this industry by:
- Augmenting the customer’s high-street journey and improving the relevance with their customers;
- Empowering the workforce with customer insight and the ability to upsell; and
- Adding a leading edge.
According to Gartner, CEOs within the financial services should encourage innovation by implementing a bimodal organisational structure and operating model that incorporates a defined innovation framework. TBS have already developed an agile process that underpins a bimodal deployment strategy to assist the financial industry with their digital business where:
- Mode 1: explores the impact these technologies will have on business, together with key business stakeholders, starting small and quickly deploying a proof of concept with a focus on specific business benefits;
- Mode 2 concentrates on digital innovation to practically demonstrate how technology can underpin this.
To find out more on how TBS can assist you with your innovation journey, please email email@example.com
At the recent Empowering People with Technology Event hosted in conjunction with Samsung and Mitie, TBS brought together a line-up of elite industry experts who examined how consumer technology could be harnessed as part of a business’s mobile strategy.
Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst at Quocirca, delivered an informative session on ‘The Industrialisation of IoT and Wearable Devices’, explaining how the emergence of new technologies such as IoT and wearables could be used holistically to take businesses to new levels of efficiency.
As an output from the event Rob has created the following blog, providing an insight into the value being created through deployment of such ubiquitous technology.
IoT in the Enterprise: A Pragmatic Approach
There is a degree of hype surrounding the internet of things (IoT) with many wild ideas reminiscent of ideas for internet businesses during the dot com boom. Despite this, the combination of exuberant innovation and pragmatism is already paying off with some practical and tangible business benefits. However, it is important for businesses not to solely focus on the shiny nature of ‘things’ but to take a broader view with their digital connected strategy.
A recent event, hosted by Mitie, in conjunction with Samsung and TBS Mobility, brought together many important aspects that underpin how IoT technology and wearable devices could have a significant impact on businesses.
WIRED magazine gave presentation of current innovation in this area, which explored the potential for dramatic impact, especially for consumers. Only a couple of years ago many of the ideas would have seemed fanciful and far-fetched. All were based on current concepts ranging from working prototypes to customer ready products.
From ‘consumerisation’ to industrialisation
Consumerisation is important as it lays the groundwork for increased acceptance of technology in both the home and workplace. Recent Quocirca rsearch of UK company attitudes to IoT and wearable devices (“The many guises of IoT” report) has noted a growing appetite for the use of these technologies, especially if both line of business and IT are working together.
This is something that Mitie has addressed with the application of IoT and wearable devices to aid facilities management tasks. Many of the activities involved in managing, securing and cleaning workplaces and facilities may seem straightforward. They may not appear to be obvious contenders for the use of novel technology, but there are opportunities to streamline processes.
The simple repetitive task of cleaning toilet facilities is one area being addressed and has already provided interesting results. Most people will be familiar with the signed sheets outside on the wall indicating when a facility was last cleaned, usually once per hour. But this routine approach to maintenance ignores actual usage of facilities and consequent requirements.
By use of a simple sensor monitoring ‘traffic’ levels, Mitie has gained an understanding of usage patterns. In the past this sort of checking might have been conducted periodically and analysed after the event to establish new working routines. Now the data can be acted upon immediately and dynamically; if the facilities have not been used, then no work is required, but if usage suddenly rises (perhaps a large meeting or event), a message is sent directly to an operative to act.
The combination of IoT with the use of devices worn by the operatives – in this case Samsung smartwatches – means that the messaging technology does not get in the way or encumber the worker. Added to this the organisation does not have to provide what would once have been much more expensive IT to its workforce. The process has been streamlined, but service levels are also improved.
The idea does not need to stop there. With some external data sources and analytics, a more predictive approach could be taken. Additional sensors could be added to check the use of soap from soap dispensers and toilet paper so that intelligent replenishment schemes could be put in place. It might seem unimportant to those not directly involved, but like other areas where processes can be semi-automated, real efficiency savings can be made. In low margin services where much of the cost is people, such as facilities management, efficiency makes a big difference.
The investment cost has not been significantly high either and this indicates a great way to apply innovative technology to improve a business process:
- First, identify a business problem that could benefit from incremental improvement by gathering more data or applying some level of automation.
- Next, look to technologies that are becoming commoditised by consumerisation so that employee acceptance can be readily achieved and propositions can be tested quickly and deployed relatively cheaply.
- Finally, measure and analyse the return to plot next steps. It might require more investment or enhancement, or even for the current concept approach to just be made more robust. However, if the returns are already demonstrable and the decisions about the next level of investment are based on valid experimentation, then the next small leap is not in the dark.
With current levels of innovation, it is clear that there will be many new IoT technologies and concepts over the coming years, but businesses do not need wait. There are plenty of smart devices and sensors available to use today, and costs have already been driven down to levels that make enterprise applications worthwhile. It doesn’t require special IoT magic or even a CIoTO (Chief IoT Officer), just a bit of business led thought combined with smart IT application of what’s already available.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer has been shortlisted for the Retail Week Technology Awards.
Dixons Carphone with Samsung and TBS, are finalists in the Retail Week Technology Awards, Innovation of the Year category, for their Colleague Smart Watch.
With a core retail business as the largest multi-channel specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer in Europe, Dixons Carphone consistently showcase the latest products and technology. Now, with TBS and Samsung Gear wearable devices, the customer experience is powerfully improved using the hottest tech available.
With over 40,000 Dixons Carphone employees in nine countries, and millions of customer enquiries on a daily basis, using the Samsung Gear and TBS’s TaskMaster solution will benefit customer and retailer in equal measure.
Seamlessly, floor colleagues can act on the initial customer enquiry, check stock levels of any item, detail up-to-date offers and care plans, inform the warehouse of the order and deliver to the nearest till for purchase.
Sebastian James, Group Chief Executive states that Dixons Carphone are “We will not only help customers to access the technology and the connectivity that is right for them, but also find the expertise and services that bring them to life – the first and best company to offer this complete end-to-end proposition.”
Steve Reynolds, Managing Director of TBS, added “Dixons Carphone has taken steps to differentiate itself, adopting wearable devices to enhance the customer journey. This has placed them at the forefront of the retail industry, yet again. We are delighted to see Dixons Carphone, Samsung and TBS running for this prestigious award.”
The winners will be decided by a distinguished judging panel of retail experts and announced at the ceremony on 14th September 2016 at Intercontinental 02, London. For more information on the awards go to https://techecommawards.retail-week.com/.